Okay – I will never win awards for my movie-making skills simply because – well – I have no skill at movie making. The fact is that the whole audio/video part of life pretty much confuses the jujubees out of me. I was in the radio club in high school, and my dad was the general manager of a radio station my whole life, but the ins and outs of the scientific side of it were always just beyond my comprehension.
But I wanted to make a book trailer! I wanted to have a little mini-movie to help promote my first adult novel “Beautiful Monster” (my first “real” book according some people who don’t know that it’s as hard to write for kids as it is for grown-ups; in fact, in some ways it’s harder!). Many of my wonderful writer friends have done these – some have even had them professionally crafted by people who get that whole video editing do-hickey. Sadly, my budget wouldn’t allow for professionals to even take a sniff at what I wanted.
So I set off to do this by myself. I couldn’t even work with my co-author on this one, so I was on my own.
All by myself.
Totally without assistance.
Okay, okay, I’m being melodramatic. But really, it was quite a daunting prospect.
Thank the good Lord and the folks at Microsoft for creating Windows Movie Maker! Man – I can’t give enough praise to the people who are able to take complicated tasks like creating a movie out of nothing but a single picture, and making it idiot-proof enough for me to use!
This is not to say, however, that it was done stress-free and with little birds chirping on my shoulder. I swore a few times. Well, honestly, I swore a lot. Good thing my kitties don’t speak human well enough to know what I was saying or I may have had my mouth washed out with soap. While I may not understand all the technicalities of movie making, I do know aesthetics, and I really know when something doesn’t look right. My first few efforts at this trailer were – to say the least – pathetic. I had things swirling around. I had things shrinking and expanding. I had more visual effects than a Star Wars movie and they all looked dreadful and amateurish.
Then I hit upon an idea. Simplicity. I was making everything far more complicated than it needed to be. So I cut things way back. I peeled off layer upon layer of cool stuff and only kept what I thought looked like it worked with the concept of the book. I sent a rough draft to Jared, my coauthor, and he gave it “two thumbs up” and a smiley face.
Then I set off in search of “music” that would add to the effect. It’s hard to find free music on the internet that doesn’t come with five thousand stupid programs when it downloads to your computer! I also tried to find “royalty free” music so that my list of credits at the end of the trailer wouldn’t wind up being longer than the trailer itself. Then late one night, suffering a bout of insomnia, I put the whole thing together in two versions and sent it to my coauthor to preview. He liked the second version better, and my first book trailer was born!
I’ve posted this on Facebook, and here’s the link on Youtube http://youtu.be/QNt8ZQFUC2o. It’s short and sweet, but you get the idea. I would welcome your comments! I’m pretty excited about my amateur effort, but I’m certain Hollywood won’t be calling anytime soon!